The Colors Bleed

Feb 21

Angels in Orange and Pink by PaulaThe brushes start,
The oils begin,
The painting knows,
The pain within.
The colors bleed,
The pigment weeps,
The strokes forgive,
The subject seeks.
The frame relieves,
The canvas feels,
The painting done,
The subject heals.


How do you heal through art?

This poetic idea was inspired by Tara Smith, the deputy director of the Oceanside Museum of Art after she shared with me some of her amazing photo-realistic paintings from her cell phone at a meeting we were both attending. She told me how her artwork is often healing for the subjects she paints. Learn more about Tara Smith at and the museum at

Image credit: Check out Paula Majeski’s amazing angel art at

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What Makes Me Happy?

Jan 22


What makes me happy graphic vs2


What makes you happy? Let me know!

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Why Try Fit in?

Jan 19

Why stay in the lines when you’d rather draw big?
Why dress like a dog when you’re really a pig?
Why put on a smile when you’re grouchy as hell?
Why keep a secret when you’d much rather tell?
Why polish your shoes when you’d rather go bare?
Why shave both your legs when you’d rather grow hair?
Why muzzle your mouth when you want to be heard?
Why marry a stud when you wanted a nerd?
Why paint black and white when you’ve color to share?
Why act like you’re shy when you want them to stare?
Why whisper so low when you’d much rather shout?
Why try fit in when you’d rather stand out?

– – – – – – – – – – –

See more of Marilyn Huerta’s amazing art. 

Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl


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No One Spoke of Her Car

Jan 17

I went to a memorial,
And to my strange surprise,
No one spoke of her car,
Or the size of her thighs.
summer sunset 
Nobody ever spoke,
Of her bright diamond ring,
Or her toil at the office,
Not a bit, not a thing.
Nobody ever spoke,
Of her lovely new dishes,
Or her brand new carpet,
Or her oriental fishes.
Nobody even spoke,
Of the size of her home,
Or the size of her checkbook,
Or her gold-plated phone.
None of that mattered,
Not one little bit,
We remembered her smile,
And her sweet loving wit.
We spoke of her kindness,
And the friends that she made,
We spoke of her courage,
Living life unafraid.
We spoke of her humor,
And that in-fectious smile,
And never a reference,
To her wardrobe or style.
All that time at the office,
Or the size of your boat,
They matter no more,
Than the words I just wrote.
The one thing that matters,
Looking down from above,
Is how we’re remembered,
For our kindness and love.
What I know…
I had the pleasure of getting to know a very inspiring woman recently. She was in the process of fighting a second round of cancer. But this time she knew she would not win. She had come to peace with the inevitable. Her name is Lynne Austin from Vista, California. As part of my job at The Cal State University Institute for Palliative Care I was charged with the responsibility of documenting her experience of end-of-life decisions and the process of palliative care on video.
This documentation would be a teaching tool for students studying this difficult topic. I worked with a doctor who specializes in end-of-life care and we both took time interviewing Lynne about her life and her thoughts about dying. It was a very moving experience. Shortly after that she made her transition and I attended her memorial. Lynne had planned out everything for that event and it was simply – beautiful. I was so inspired by the outpouring of love for this amazing person that I had to write what really struck me the most.
Of all of her accomplishments, the biggest one seemed to be love. She gave it. She received it. Nothing was said of the material things we all focus on in our daily lives. Nothing was said of her financial wealth, the size of her home or the scope of her portfolio. So, this is what I wrote. Let me know your thoughts…

Copyright 2014  Steve Dahl

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Intentions Planted

Jan 06

Sometimes our intentions are all it takes to set our life down a specific path. Sometimes we don’t even think about what we’re thinking about. In this piece, I try to demonstrate that all of us have that unique ability to create our own future, yet when we focus on it too much we can still screw it up! Stop for a minute. Breathe. Think. Intend.
Sprouting seedling narrowWhat are your intentions today?


Intentions Planted

Buried in the darkness,
Deep in the earth,
I plant my intention,
For all that it’s worth.
Who knows the season,
That sprouting takes place,
I’ve planted my vision,
I don’t know the pace.
Concern for the harvest,
Is not on my mind,
Intentions will sprout,
When given the time.
Pushing through darkness,
Struggling toward light,
My vision will blossom,
And all will be right.
Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl 
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No Grudges Did he Hold – A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Dec 09

 A young attorney fights for,
Beliefs he felt so strong,
His color caused him trouble,
For which he’d pay so long.
Apartheid was the problem,
A very ugly face,
It terrorizes colors,Nelson_Mandela-2008 Wikpedia
And separates the race.
This system of oppression,
Repressed all but a few,
This one refused submission,
There’s something that he knew.
He knew revenge was futile,
And violence would not pay,
For nearly three long decades,
They kept him locked away.
He chipped away at boulders,
While serving all those days,
His faith it never waivered,
To follow peaceful ways.
He left the prison boldly,
No grudges did he hold,
White prison guards beside him,
A sight we still behold.
He soon became the leader,
And freedom quickly spread,
He fathered new democracy,
Apartheid now is dead.
His legacy went global,
Respect went off the charts,
He brought together races,
He brought together hearts.
Mandela as a black man,
Had enemies that were white,
He showed us we can do this,
Our world can now unite.
Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl 
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